Correlated firing among different classes of ganglion cells in rabbit retina

S. H. DeVries, D. A. Baylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Purpose. The nearly-simultaneous firing of neighboring retinal ganglion cells has been observed in cat and salamander retina. These correlated events may comprise a form of distributed temporal coding. In salamander retina, most recorded ganglion cells fire in concert with at least one neighbor. In cat retina, concerted firing has been demonstrated for X- and Y-cells, but has not been studied for other cell classes. We sought to determine which classes of rabbit ganglion cells fired in concert with neighbors and, in particular, whether concerted firing occurred for cells outside of the brisk sustained (X-like) and brisk transient (Y-like) classes. Methods. An extracellular multi-electrode array was used to simultaneously monitor the activity of up to 80 rabbit retinal ganglion cells. Cells were classified by the characteristic time courses of their spike-triggered average stimuli, determined by stimulating the retina with a dim, randomly varying checkerboard. Using spikes occurring during checkerboard stimulation, cross-correlation functions were calculated for cells within and between classes. Results. Nearly-simultaneous firing (±10 ms) of neighboring cells was consistently observed in 3 of 10 classes of ganglion cells. The strongest correlations were between neighboring Off fast I (Off brisk transient) cells, followed by those between On fast I (On brisk transient) cells. Spikes in On fast I cells were also correlated with those in On fast II cells (On brisk sustained), but correlations between neighboring On fast II cells were minor. Correlated firing was observed infrequently for pairs consisting of Off fast I and Off fast II (putative Off brisk sustained) cells. Correlated firing was not observed in the other 6 classes of cells, which included Off delayed, On slow (On sluggish), Off slow (Off sluggish), Off very slow (putative local edge detector), On direction selective, and On-Off direction selective. Conclusion. Correlated firing seems to be restricted to the brisk sustained and brisk transient classes of rabbit retinal ganglion cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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